Efficacy of undecylenic acid-zinc undecylenate powder in culture positive tinea pedis

Int J Dermatol. Jan-Feb 1980;19(1):51-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4362.1980.tb01997.x.


One hundred fifty-one patients with tinea pedis participated in a double-blind study to assess the efficacy and safety of a powder containing undecylenic acid 2% and zinc undecylenate 20% versus a placebo powder. Patients were assigned to apply twice-daily applications of either active powder or placebo for a period of 4 weeks. Trichophyton rubrum or Trichophyton mentagrophytes were isolated from pretreatment cultures of 85 patients. Of these, 88% treated with active powder had negative cultures after 4 weeks compared with 17% of those treated with placebo powder (p less than 0.001). Fungus was identified in potassium hydroxide (KOH) treated skin scrapings of all 151 patients before treatment. Of those treated with active powder, 80% were KOH negative after 4 weeks compared with 49% of those treated with placebow powder (p = 0.001). Erythema and scaling were significantly improved by therapy with active powder, as were subjective evaluations of itching and burning. There were no side-effects or adverse reactions to undecylenic acid and its zinc salt.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Placebos
  • Tinea Pedis / drug therapy*
  • Undecylenic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Zinc / therapeutic use


  • Placebos
  • Undecylenic Acids
  • Zinc